June 10, 2009:

Day 6 of Trek:
Markha (3,760 m) to Thagutse (4,260 m)
Just as we left Markha after breakfast the weather turned bad and it started to rain, then
sleet and then snow. We had to cross the river a couple of times on our way to Umlung.
A couple of hours later and we were in Hankar. On our way, a couple of times we saw blue
sheep. At Hankar we left the valley bottom and went straight up to the ruins of the old
Hankar fort and a ruined gompa. The views from up here were spectacular and we saw
Kang Yaze for the first time.
Above Umlung is the Tertha Gompa. We debated for a while whether we wanted to
scramble up there but then decided against it and kept going up the valley. Slowly the
weather got a little better.
Some way past Hankar we sat down at a grassy spot and had lunch. While having lunch,
bad weather came in again and we hurried up to finish lunch. Soon we were on our last
climb to Thagutse where we reached our camp at around 2 pm. The chai tea made by Yam
was very appreciated as it was cold up here and we could feel the altitude.
A couple of smaller groups were also camping at this site a little lower than us. Later in the
afternoon, we were visited by a German guy (of course) and an American woman. Dinner
was the usual and we went to bed into our cold tents at around 9 pm.